Chief Experience Disruptor. I stared at the name tag again – yes, that was his title. We sat down for tea, and he invited me to test the miracle berry that made lime taste like sweet candy. I ate the lime, all of it – even its thick green skin tasted deliciously sweet. “This berry could help the sweet-loving diabetics you know,” he said, lending me a few packets. He had just given up a promotion to pursue his dreams: travel the world for 6 months, feed a few thousand people, and continue his side hobby of understanding why people are right-hand-dominant. “Does it have anything to do with the position of the heart?” I offered, lamely, hopefully. “Probably,” he said. “But that does not explain why men’s shirts have buttons on the right, and women’s, on the left.” I have since thought of several implications of being right-handed. Also as an aside, I have become more acutely aware of the clichéd two-handedness in my profession, I mean, of saying ‘on the one hand, and on the other hand.’
As I mentioned in my previous blog, a renewed focus on Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) regulations in Australia, the UK, and in the USA are impacting banks and MTOs.
Three effects on the remittance markets are observed. First, Banks stopped offering low cost remittance services. Second, banks closed accounts of MTOs. Two major banks, the Commonwealth Bank and the National Australia Bank, have closed already the accounts of MTOs in Australia. Recently, Westpac announced that it will close the bank accounts of MTOs serving Somalia by the end of this month. And third, small MTOs also closed since they could not any longer operate without bank accounts.
Remittances to EAP remain buoyant and continue to support macroeconomic stability - projected to increase by 7.0 percent to US$122 billion and to US$127 billion in 2015, as the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief 24 (Oct 2014) reports.
While steadily declining, the cost of remittances to EAP remains close to 8 percent in 3Q2014, according to the report. Money transfer operators (MTOs) contribute to lowering the cost; and cash-to-cash transfers are likely to cost higher than cash-to-account transfers for receiving countries in the region, highlighting the importance of deepening financial inclusion of migrant families in remittance-receiving countries.
The Migration and Remittances team at the World Bank is pleased to invite you to the following Seminar/Webinar:
Monday, October 20, 2014
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Room MC 8-100
World Bank Main Complex
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Presenter: Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Head of KNOMAD, Development Prospects Group, Worlld Bank
Malaria remains a significant problem for developing countries and exacts a heavy economic and social cost in terms of lost lives, loss of productivity, and foregone incomes and earnings. Despite significant progress in recent decades, the WHO estimates that there are some 207 million cases of malaria and over half a million people killed annually, with the bulk of these in Africa, mostly among children under 5 years of age. About 3.4 billion people (half the world’s population) are at risk of contracting the disease. Combating malaria is high on the agenda of the international development community (see UN Millennium Development Goal 6 and Roll Back Malaria partnership). Significantly greater resources are needed – an estimated $5 billion annually – for achieving the MDG target of full malaria control in all endemic countries.
Remittances by international migrants from developing countries are on course for strong growth this year, while at the same time forced migration due to violence and conflict has reached unprecedented levels, says the World Bank’s latest issue of Migration and Development Brief, released today.
Officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $435 billion this year, an increase of 5 percent over 2013. The growth rate this year is substantially faster than the 3.4 percent growth recorded in 2013, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America.
We have received some queries from market analysts and journalists as to when the new data and forecasts on remittances will be released. We are issuing the new Migration and Development Brief on Monday, October 6th. We will also issue a press release and post it on this blog.
The rise of early Nile basin civilizations can be traced back to one of the most significant climatic changes of the last 11,000 years, a period of protracted hyperaridity that led not only to North Africa’s deserts we know today, but also to a multi-generational exodus depicted in much Saharan rupestrian art.
In 2013, private money transfers made by international migrants ($404 billion to developing countries) exceeded the official development assistance (ODA) by more than three times. Remittances therefore appear as a constant subject in the present debate on the post-2015 financing framework. A realistic assessment of how remittances (can) financially contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals is now required. To do so, the post-2015 financing debate should integrate five key principles.
The potential for mobilizing diaspora savings for financing education, healthcare and infrastructure in countries of origin is massive. Some 170 million international migrants from developing countries send over $400 billion in remittances to their countries of origin. At the same time, migrants also save a part of their incomes in the country of origin, mostly as bank deposits. Migrant savings can be mobilized, through diaspora bonds or non-resident deposits, for financing development efforts in countries of origin.
We make some back-of-the-envelope calculations of diaspora savings using data on migrant stocks, skill composition, and assumptions about migrant earnings. We assume that the high-skilled migrants earn the same as the native workers in destination countries, but that the low-skilled migrants earn less – one-third in the OECD countries, one-fifth in the GCC countries, and one-half in other destination countries.